Experts from across Russia discussed veterinary and genetics issues in cattle breeding

The International Scientific and Practical Conference "Veterinary in Agribusiness" became a forum for discussing the key challenges and strategic development of the domestic livestock industry.

At the Genetics in Pig Breeding section, representatives of the professional community addressed the most important topics such as:

•        recent advances and developments in DNA-genotyping of animals;

•        development and improvement of new software for the BLUP-index calculation procedure, which is used for precise animal evaluation in the main herd;

•        problems that hinder further development of breeding in pig husbandry.

These issues came to the fore after imported breeding programs left the market and Russian pig breeders were disconnected from databases, breeding records, BLUP-indexes, which remained on foreign servers. The section will result in an open letter to the Ministry of Agriculture and Biological Resources. It will contain a proposal by professionals to amend the laws and bylaws on the rules of identifying the enterprise breeding status and the calculation of subsidies for breeding stock.

The section also hosted Angelika Zabolotnaya, leading technologist-consultant of the pig division of VIC Group, who reported on "Fulfilling the genetic potential of highly productive sows". The speaker elaborated on the current problem of insufficient milk productivity of sows. Over 20 years of intensive industry growth genetic solutions helped to increase the sow litter size from 10 to 18-20 litters per sow per farrow. However, the colostrum and milk production level in pigs remained the same, which affects the animals' health and safety. Increasing milk production by breeding methods is not possible at the moment because accurate measurement techniques are needed rather than indirect indicators used in production facilities, such as piglet litter weight at weaning. The expert shared effective technological tools to address this issue, providing the practical findings of leading Russian enterprises.

Yury Kochergin, a leading consulting technologist of the VIC Pork Division, spoke at the round table on gastrointestinal diseases in the "Veterinary medicine in pig farming" section. The expert touched upon two major topics:

•        increasing feed conversion efficiency;

•        prevention of gastrointestinal diseases by introducing phenolic compounds into feed.

The first part of his report focused on the importance of feeding, which efficiency affects animal health and productivity as well as the key production indicators, i.e. weight gain. Introduction of various natural digestive stimulants into the ration helps to build the performance process. In the second part, Yuri Kochergin drew the listeners' attention to the alternatives for antibiotics in the management of digestive diseases. The solution could be prevention using feeds with natural elements that inhibit the disease.

Pyotr Boyarinov, consultant veterinarian of the VIC Cattle Breeding Division, spoke about the current situation in the imported biological preparations supply and characterized the supplied vaccines during the "Veterinary medicine in cattle breeding" section. The issue of their availability for cattle disease prevention is currently of vital importance: imported drugs are in short supply, and Russian manufacturers are not yet able to meet all the demands for vaccines of appropriate quality and quantity. Finding reliable suppliers is crucial for enterprises, and the conference introduced them to the main players in this market.

Kristina Sachenko, leading technologist-consultant of the livestock division of VIC Group, addressed the topic of metabolic disorders in cattle under different types of stress, and methods to combat them. In summer, the problem is especially urgent, because animals have metabolism disorders against the background of heat stress, and productivity is reduced. The speaker explained how to cope with it with the help of phytobiotics.

The conference also hosted a plenary session with speeches by Yuri Kovalev, General Director of the National Pork Producers Union, Roman Kostyuk, General Director of the Beef Producers Union, and Artyom Belov, General Director of Soyuzmoloko. The event was held on May 23-25 in Novosibirsk and gathered poultry, pork and livestock practitioners from all over Russia.